How a greenhouse can help grow your own veg
Be more sustainable and create a mini eco-system in your garden. Here’s how to grow your own veg with the help of a greenhouse.
Image: Hartley Botanic
A greenhouse is a great feature for any keen gardener’s home. They allow year-round production of various kinds of produce, meaning more heading from the garden to your plate! We spoke to Hartley Botanic about best vegetables and other edible plants can be grown in a greenhouse.
Probably one of the most common things grown in British greenhouses every summer is a supe-rabundance of incredibly tasty tomatoes. But there is a vast variety of other easily cultivated edibles to grow. From off-season lettuces to big, ripe aubergines; from hot little chillies to heavy bunches of big, golden muscat grapes, a Greenhouse can be a reliable source, not just of home-grown food, but of the choicest, tastiest and most sought-after luxuries.
A greenhouse is the stepping off point for outdoor vegetable production. As well as raising tender crops including courgettes and outdoor cucumbers, you can kick-start runner beans, brassicas and even such root crops as carrots and beets. Your difficult decision will not be what to grow, but what to leave out, since space is always limited. You’ll have some hard choices to make.
Image: Garden Trading
While many herbs are hardy and grown in the open garden, some herbs from subtropical regions perform more reliably in the warmer, more humid conditions of a greenhouse. Many others, such as sage, rosemary and thyme can also be grown in pots in a frost-free greenhouse over winter to provide you with a continuous supply of aromatic leaves.
Basils, of which there are more than 30 different types listed for sale in the UK, revel in warm conditions and have a range of distinctive flavours from aniseed to citrus and are used in a wide range of dishes. The additional warmth of a greenhouse will also help stimulate the production of the aromatic oils that make the taste of basil so distinctive. They are easily raised from seed or cuttings.
Your greenhouse will enable you to be significantly more productive in your growing year than if you were purely growing outdoors, especially if you know the right growing techniques. For example, with strawberries, if you use specially designed containers with planting pockets down their sides the plants could produce fruit in May and again in November.
Summer broccoli, sown in January, may be in production by late June and, if you sow your first runner beans in February under glass and plant them out in May, they’ll crop from late June to September. With tomatoes, even with modest croppers, if you grow your plants well, you’ll always have surplus and nothing tastes quite so delicious as a fresh-picked home-grown variety.
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